my baby in the World of People

Here’s a post I wrote on a discussion board on February 17, 2005, when Nicholas was just seven weeks old.

It’s not like this anymore, but back when I was a Girl Scout the badges were divided into main topic areas called “Worlds”. I was reminded of this yesterday as I watched my baby interact with the Brownie troop where I’m now a leader. It is just amazing me to see him opening up to becoming a part of the human family.

He’s been to Brownie meetings at three weeks, five weeks, and now seven weeks old. For the first two, he slept essentially all the time, waking to nurse and then going back to sleep. This time, though, he woke in the middle of the meeting,and when I adjusted the sling so he could see out, his bright little eyes caught sight of a dozen girls in a flurry of construction paper, markers, and cut-up magazines chattering, “Where’s the red marker?” and “Please pass the glue!”…and he was entranced. He just soaked it up for 20 minutes before he remembered to be hungry! As the girls noticed he was awake, one or another would pause in her work to come over and smile at him or talk to him or stroke his little hands.

He’s joining right in with the church family, too. We belong to a small parish that gets one new baby per year or less, so everybody was following my pregnancy with interest. I brought the baby to the Feast of the Epiphany when he was 13 days old, and he got a joyous welcome, but he was mostly asleep and sort of blank-looking when awake.But at last Tuesday’s pancake supper, he was alert and happily looking around at all the different types of people and what we were doing. He seemed so receptive to learning how to be one of us.

He used to sleep the entire time I was walking with him in the carrier,unless he was uncomfortable. Now he’s awake about half the time and looking at our fellow pedestrians, things in shop windows, traffic,houses…. I love our diverse and walkable neighborhood, and it’s overwhelmingly wonderful to see him taking it in and imprinting on this as the way things are.

I enjoy the quiet times at home, too…but wow, it’s wonderful taking him into the outside world!

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About 'Becca
author of The Earthling's Handbook, about the environment, parenting, cooking, and more!

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